For the longest time I have wanted to make homemade cheese, but never got around to buying the rennet needed to make it. Well after doing a little research, to my surprise not all cheese gets made with rennet. Paneer and Ricotta depend on citric acid rather than rennet for their coagulation. Well recently we found ourselves with an excess of milk in the house, 2 gallons to be exact, and there is not enough coffee and cereal that would allow me to use enough milk before it went bad so I deiced to take another approach, making Ricotta. This recipe turned out to be shocking easy, but be warned a lot of milk does not go a long way.
makes about 3/4 cup
1 quart 2% milk
1 teaspoon of white vinegar
1/2 cup Italian Volcano Lemon Juice (if you can find this use one large fresh lemon)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Prepare a colander in the sink and line it with cheesecloth, folded over several times so it’s several layers thick.
Heat the milk slowly, stirring periodically to keep it from scorching. Heat until it hits 200F on a thermometer and stir in the lemon juice and white vinegar.
The milk will instantly curdle. Turn off the heat and let the milk sit for 15 minutes. Pour it into the colander lined with cheesecloth – the whey will run away immediately.
When the cheese has cooled a bit, squeeze it in a ball and hang it over the sink faucet to drain. Let it drain for about an hour then stir in some salt, if desired, and refrigerate. This will keep for several days in the fridge; it can also be frozen.